Liver Lobules

The hepatic plates are arranged into functional units called liver lobules (figs. 18.20 and 18.21). In the middle of each lobule is a central vein, and at the periphery of each lobule are branches of the hepatic portal vein and of the hepatic artery, which open into the sinusoids between hepatic plates. Arterial blood and portal venous blood, containing molecules absorbed in the GI tract, thus mix as the blood flows within the sinusoids from the periphery of the lobule to the central vein. The central veins of different liver lobules converge to form the hepatic vein, which carries blood from the liver to the inferior vena cava.

Bile is produced by the hepatocytes and secreted into thin channels called bile canaliculi, located within each hepatic plate

Branch of portal vein

Bile ductule

Bile canaliculus Sinusoids

Bile canaliculus Sinusoids

Hepatocytes Sinusoids
Branch of hepatic artery Hepatic plate Central vein

■ Figure 18.21 The flow of blood and bile in a liver lobule. Blood flows within sinusoids from a portal vein to the central vein (from the periphery to the center of a lobule). Bile flows within hepatic plates from the center to bile ductules at the periphery of a lobule.

(fig. 18.21). These bile canaliculi are drained at the periphery of each lobule by bile ducts, which in turn drain into hepatic ducts that carry bile away from the liver. Since blood travels in the sinusoids and bile travels in the opposite direction within the hepatic plates, blood and bile do not mix in the liver lobules.

In cirrhosis, large numbers of liver lobules are destroyed and replaced with permanent connective tissue and "regenerative nodules" of hepatocytes. These regenerative nodules do not have the platelike structure of normal liver tissue, and are therefore less functional. One indication of this decreased function is the entry of ammonia (produced by intestinal bacteria) from the hepatic portal blood into the general circulation. Cirrhosis may be caused by chronic alcohol abuse, biliary obstruction, viral hepatitis, or by various chemicals that attack liver cells.

Was this article helpful?

+2 -1
Reasons, Remedies And Treatments For Heartburns

Reasons, Remedies And Treatments For Heartburns

Find Out The Causes, Signs, Symptoms And All Possible Treatments For Heartburns!

Get My Free Ebook


  • erling brown
    How does blood drain within the liver lobule?
    8 years ago
  • zufan yonatan
    Where is the central vein, sinusoids and lobules in the liver?
    7 years ago
  • oili
    Which direction does the bile flow inside a liver lobule?
    7 years ago
  • melilot
    What are hepatic plates?
    6 years ago
  • Maunu Moilanen
    Which way does blood flow in the hepatic lobules?
    4 years ago
  • Scott
    Which kind of liver lobules involve blood flow to the periphery?
    3 years ago
  • anni
    What direction does blood flow in liver lobule?
    3 years ago
  • torsten
    How do liver lobules work?
    3 years ago
    How blood in the liver would mix with canaliculi?
    3 years ago
  • Amanuel
    What is livar and it leboules?
    2 years ago
  • frank
    Why does bile flow opposie of blood in portal lobule?
    1 year ago
  • Kathy
    What carries bile into the liver lobules?
    1 year ago
  • Megan Lewis
    How does cirrhosis alter the function of the hepatic lobule?
    1 year ago
  • Calleigh King
    Why does blood and bile flow in opposite directions in the liver?
    1 year ago
  • rita
    Why do blood and bile flow in opposite directions in a liver lobule?
    8 months ago
    What does the central vein in a lobule drain?
    3 months ago
    Which direction does blood flow through the sinusoids?
    2 months ago
  • Kathrin
    How does blood leave each individual liver lobule?
    2 months ago
  • benjamin
    Why does bile travel in the opposite direction to blood in the liver?
    2 months ago
  • luca
    How does a liver lobule help rapid exhange of materials in the blood?
    27 days ago
  • Kaisa
    How does the hepatic system work?
    24 days ago
  • ausilia
    Why is counter current flow of bile and blood good?
    9 days ago

Post a comment